Chamber wrote to public safety minister asking for 6 more customs booths to be opened
Canada-bound trucks backed up on the Ambassador Bridge on March 23, 2018
Mayor Drew Dilkens says the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of
Commerce is "allowing itself to be used" by the company that owns the
Ambassador Bridge in an attempt to circumvent critical negotiations that
must be completed before the company can build its new span.
a letter to Canada's public safety minister Ralph Goodale,
Dilkens blasts the chamber's CEO Matt Marchand for contacting the
minister about opening up six additional customs booths west of Huron
Church Road without informing city officials.
Marchand did not immediately return request for comment.Windsor
Mayor Drew Dilkens says the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce
is being "used" by the the company that owns the Ambassador Bridge
In his letter, the mayor points to a process set up by the
federal government meant to maintain the conditions that must be met
before the Canadian Transit Company can build its second span and adds
allowing the company to open those booths would hamstring the city in
negotiations around the relocation of Firehall No. 4, which must be
settled before the new bridge can be built.
the issue of border delays is an important one for my community," wrote
Dilkens. "However, at this time caution should be exercised when
looking at solutions to any delay that may exist when entering Canada
using the Ambassador Bridge."Huron Church must close if lanes open
also quoted a 2008 letter from the CBSA director general who stated if
the booths on Huron Church were opened the road would have to
immediately be closed.
"The issue is far too important ... to let
special interest groups cloud the facts," wrote Dilkens in a Tweet
posted around 8:30 p.m. "We have been at this for more than a decade and
we won't quit until we have a deal that's fair for residents."
Stamper from the CTC says the CBSA refuses to use 6 truck inspection
lanes that were completed west of Huron Church Road in 2007.
As for the delays, the mayor said he believes the long wait times can be attributed to the Ambassador Bridge itself.
may suggest that simply adding more CBSA staff will eliminate any
traffic problems that exist at this location," he wrote. "However, your
own staff would likely indicate the majority of backups at this location
area result of ongoing construction on the Ambassador Bridge
undertaken by the CTC and/or related to traffic management on
the Ambassador Bridge itself."
Consultation between CBSA and CTC continues
a statement sent to CBC News, Goodale's press secretary wrote that the
bridge company won't be able to operate the six booths unless they meet
all of the conditions and requirements set out by the government.
"To date these requirements have not been met. Consultation between CBSA and the CTC is ongoing," added Scott Bardsley.
his letter by writing that while he understands the chamber's mission
is to support area businesses, the city must consider broader issues. He
asked Goodale to do the same.
"In particular the city must
consider mitigation of the known negative impacts from the bridge,
protect the health and safety of its citizens and seek an acceptable
degree fo compatibility with the surrounding community."
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